Swedish agency relies on ASSA for access control


It’s important to the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) that its headquarters should be open and welcoming to visitors, yet at the same time secure enough to prevent intruders from gaining unauthorized access. ASSA’s ARX access control system and door leaf readers were installed to strike a happy balance.

When SwAM was formed on July 1, 2011, so that a single authority could assume responsibility for environmental and fisheries issues, it was necessary to find a new headquarters capable of hosting about 230 people. Pagoden (the Pagoda), an old heritage-listed warehouse at Gullbergsstrand, next to the Göta Älv river in Gothenburg, was selected as the ideal site. It was actually just a shell at the time, but its owner was in the process of converting it into a modern workplace while maintaining the special character of the building.

Today SwAM occupies two floors of the seven-floor building, amounting to a total of about 3,800 square meters of open-plan office space. The staff who work there include biologists, sociologists, attorneys, economists, oceanographers and five employees from the Swedish Coast Guard.

“Openness is appreciated and works very well, but of course it requires a different type of security when visitors can essentially walk right in,” says Helena Schmidt, security strategist at the Agency for Marine and Water Management. “We arrange quite a few workshops and conferences here, and there are a lot of practical considerations.”

To ensure the safety of SwAM’s premises and employees, it is secured by ASSA’s ARX access control system combined with the Galaxy intruder alarm and fire warning system.

“We prioritize a secure perimeter; having an alarm inside the building wouldn’t work since there are personnel on-site here 24/7,” says Schmidt.

The access control system is operated by the personnel who answer the phones, who say it is both simple and convenient to use. They can create new staff access cards using the ARX Photo ID system, add or change information about who can access the building at which times, block individual cards and increase or decrease authorization levels.

After some time passed in the new premises, SwAM staff discovered that it would be useful to be able to lock the conference rooms, so that visitors could safely leave their bags and other belongings there. ASSA door leaf readers were installed because they can communicate seamlessly with the ARX system.

“Everything has really worked great and we’re very pleased,” says Schmidt.